Archive | January 2020

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“Staying at a healthy weight, being physically active, and limiting how much alcohol you drink can help reduce your risk of breast cancer.”

American Cancer Society

 

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts.

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it’s far more common in women.

Public support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped improve the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths has been declining, thanks to a number of factors such as earlier detection, new treatments and a better understanding of the disease.

Breast Cancer affects everyone.  Every year, over 200,000 women are diagnosed with new cases of Breast Cancer in the United States, and over 39,000 women will lose their fight with this terrible disease.  Having experienced the effects that cancer has on both the victim and their loved ones support is so important by family and significant ones in our lives.

The Breast Cancer Awareness Month, marked in countries across the world every October, helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.

There are about 1.38 million new cases and 458 000 deaths from breast cancer each year (IARC Globocan, 2008). Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. In low- and middle-income countries the incidence has been rising up steadily in the last years due to increase in life expectancy, increase urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles.

Currently there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer, therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control. When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured. If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option. In such cases, palliative care to relief the suffering of patients and their families is needed.

The majority of deaths (269 000) occur in low- and middle-income countries, where most women with breast cancer are diagnosed in late stages due mainly to lack of awareness on early detection and barriers to health services.

Here is another thing to help breast cancer patients National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Make a difference! Spread the word about mammograms and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.

In the first phases, the breast cancer has no evident signs and symptoms and it differ in folks from lumps to swelling and alterations in the pores and skin.

A lump also modest which is felt does not cause any strange changes and it is unnoticed.

Nevertheless, in a lot of circumstances visual appeal of new lump or a mass is the 1st indicator discovered. The lump may possibly be difficult to contact with uneven edges and they are painless.

But there are cases the lump is really tender, spherical edged and soft. More lumps are painless.

Breast Most cancers Signs and symptoms are:
Swelling of element of the breast or all areas
Pores and skin irritation in the breast.
Nipple pain,
Nipple begins to switch inward (inverted) slowly and gradually
Breast pain.

Breast cancer prevention starts with healthy habits — such as limiting alcohol and staying physically active. Understand what you can do to reduce your breast cancer risk.

If you’re concerned about breast cancer, you may be wondering if there are steps you can take toward breast cancer prevention. Some risk factors, such as family history, can’t be changed. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk.

What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?

Lifestyle changes have been shown in studies to decrease breast cancer risk even in high-risk women.  The following are steps you can take to lower your risk:

  • Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol — including beer, wine or liquor — limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.
  • Don’t smoke. Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women. In addition, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
  • Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
  • Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week.
  • Breast-feed. Breast-feeding may play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
  • Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you’re taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options. You may be able to manage your symptoms with nonhormonal therapies, such as physical activity. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you.
  • Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution. Medical-imaging methods, such as computerized tomography, use high doses of radiation, which have been linked with breast cancer risk. Reduce your exposure by having such tests only when absolutely necessary. While more studies are needed, some research suggests a link between breast cancer and exposure to the chemicals found in some workplaces, gasoline fumes and vehicle exhaust.

Can a healthy diet prevent breast cancer?

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables hasn’t been consistently shown to offer protection from breast cancer. In addition, a low-fat diet appears to offer only a slight reduction in the risk of breast cancer.

However, eating a healthy diet may decrease your risk of other types of cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. A healthy diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight — a key factor in breast cancer prevention.

 

 

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“Winter can be brutal, but research shows you might get some health benefits during the colder months. When it’s cold, your body has to work harder to maintain its core body temperature — and as a result, you might burn more calories. Colder temperatures can help reduce both allergies and inflammation.”

Harvard Health Publishing

Is cold weather good or bad for your health?

the cold2The cold3the cold 4

It depends. Cold weather can be hard on your health in some ways, but it also be good for it, reports the January 2010 issue of the Harvard Health Letter. Most of us spend the winter trying to stay warm, but a little bit of exposure to cold may not be such a bad thing. There are two types of fat in the human body: white fat and brown fat. Brown fat is the heat-producing, calorie-burning fat that babies need to regulate their body temperatures. Most of it disappears with age, but adults retain some brown fat. Dutch researchers reported findings last year that showed that moderately cool temperatures of 61° F activated brown fat in 23 of 24 study volunteers. This is a good thing because brown fat burns calories more efficiently than white fat, and so may help control weight.

It can be tempting to spend the coldest mornings safely tucked under the covers; it’s only natural to want to avoid the most brutal temps. But during periods of such weather-induced isolation, we tend to reach out to contact our closest friends and family on the phone, and end up chatting with them for longer than usual, according to studies of 2012.

For some insects and even animals the freezing cold is not suitable for them and regarding our health well look here; during the summer of 2012 — when West Nile cases were climbing — much was made of the milder 2011-2012 winter and its effect on the disease-spreading mosquito population. The pests thrive in milder climates, meaning they were able to survive — and breed — all winter, just waiting to feast come spring. Freezing or below-freezing temps might kill off some skeeters (and ticks), thereby protecting you from the illnesses they are known to spread.

Through Psychology Today, some research suggests that if the weather never changes, you start taking that sunshine for granted. Shivering through the cold makes those warm spring days seem even better when they finally come along.

There’s a reason putting ice on an injury works. That drop in temperature reduces inflammation in, say, a sprained ankle or stubbed toe. But the theory works on a much grander scale, too — cold temperatures can reduce inflammation and pain all over.  In one recent study, researchers in Finland studied 10 women as they took 20-second plunges into near-freezing water, and also partook in sessions of cold-body cryotherapy (exposing the body to ultra-low temps for brief periods). After being exposed to the cold, participants’ blood showed three times as much norepinephrine, a naturally occurring chemical that may help suppress pain.  In fact, athletes and spa-goers even have a remedy of sorts available for muscle recovery. A 2011 study found that, at extremely low temperatures, such treatments, called cryotherapy, did more for athletes to recover from physical activity than simply resting. Runners who were exposed to temperatures as low as -166 degrees F recovered from exercise faster than those who given other therapies or told to rest, The Atlantic reported. Live in a cold-weather climate? Then you’re well aware that we’ve got a few more weeks of icy temps to endure. But those bitter winds could be doing you more good than you’d think: Preliminary research shows they may lead to a longer life.

In a study published in a recent issue of cell, researchers from the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan discovered that worms exposed to cold temperatures demonstrate a genetic response that triggers longer life spans.

Studies have shown that exposure to freezing temperatures, even for short periods, can significantly increase your energy expenditure for hours afterward. Swim a few laps in cool water, or take a power walk in winter weather, to enjoy the perk up for your workout.

So enjoy the cold!

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

Cotard delusion, also known as or nihilistic delusion or walking corpse syndrome or Cotard’s syndrome , is a rare mental disorder in which the affected person holds the delusional belief that they are already dead, do not exist, are putrefying, or have lost their blood or internal organs.

Healthline.com

Cotard’s syndrome

Cotard delusion, also known as or nihilistic delusion or walking corpse syndrome or Cotard’s syndrome , is a rare mental disorder in which the affected person holds the delusional belief that they are already dead, do not exist, are putrefying, or have lost their blood or internal organs.

Signs and Symptoms: 

One of the main symptoms of Cotard delusion is nihilism. Nihilism is the belief that nothing has any value or meaning. It can also include the belief that nothing really exists. People with Cotard delusion feel as if they’re dead or rotting away. In some cases, they might feel like they’ve never existed.

While some people feel this way about their entire body, others only feel it in regard to specific organs, limbs, or even their soul.

Depression is also closely related to Cotard delusion. A 2011 review of existing research about Cotard delusion notes that 89% of documented cases include depression as a symptom.

Other symptoms include:

  • anxiety
  • hallucinations
  • hypochondria
  • guilt
  • preoccupation with hurting yourself or death

Researchers aren’t sure what causes Cotard delusion, but there are a few possible risk factors. Several studies indicate that the average age of people with Cotard delusion is about 50. It can also occur in children and teenagers. People under the age of 25 with Cotard delusion tend to also have bipolar depression. Women also seem to be more likely to develop Cotard delusion.

In addition, Cotard delusion seems to occur more often in people who think their personal characteristics, rather than their environment, cause their behavior. People who believe that their environment causes their behavior are more likely to have a related condition called Capgras syndrome. This syndrome causes people to think their family and friends have been replaced by imposters. Cotard delusion and Capgras syndrome can also appear together.

Other mental health conditions that might increase someone’s risk of developing Cotard delusion include:

  • bipolar disorder
  • postpartum depression
  • catatonia
  • depersonalization disorder
  • dissociative disorder
  • psychotic depression
  • schizophrenia

Cotard delusion also seems to be associated with certain neurological conditions, including:

  • brain infections
  • brain tumors
  • dementia
  • epilepsy
  • migraines
  • multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • stroke
  • traumatic brain injuries

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“Stone Man Syndrome. Extremely rare disease of connective tissue. A mutation of the body’s repair mechanism causes fibrous tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament) to be ossified when damaged. In some cases, injuries can cause joints to become permanently frozen in place. The gene that causes ossification is normally deactivated after a fetus bones are formed in the womb, but in patients with FOP, the gene keeps working.”

MAYO CLINIC

Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva/Stone Man Syndrome

Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) 

It is a disorder in which skeletal muscle and connective tissue, such as tendons and ligaments, are gradually replaced by bone (ossified). This condition leads to bone formation outside the skeleton (extra-skeletal or heterotopic bone) that restricts movement.

This process generally becomes noticeable in early childhood, starting with the neck and shoulders and moving down the body and into the limbs. People with FOP are born with abnormal big toes (hallux valgus) which can be helpful in making the diagnosis. Trauma, such as a fall or invasive medical procedure, or a viral illness may trigger episodes of muscle swelling and inflammation (myositis). These flareups lasts for several days to months and often result in permanent bone growth in the injured area.

FOP is almost always caused by a mutation at the same place in the ACVR1 gene (The ACVR1 gene provides instructions for making the activin receptor type-1 (ACVR1) protein, which is a member of a protein family called bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) type I receptors.)  and is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. This condition occurs in about 1 in 1,600,000 newborns and about 800 people worldwide are known to have FOP.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

-Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is characterized by the gradual replacement of muscle tissue and connective tissue (such as tendons and ligaments) by bone, restricting movement. This process generally becomes noticeable in early childhood, starting with the neck and shoulders and proceeding down the body and into the limbs.

-The formation of extra-skeletal bone causes progressive loss of mobility as the joints become affected. Speaking and eating may also become difficult as the mouth becomes affected. Over time, people with FOP may become malnourished because of the inability to eat. They may also develop breathing difficulties as a result of extra bone formation around the rib cage that restricts expansion of the lungs.

-Any trauma to the muscles of an individual with FOP (a fall or an invasive medical procedure) may trigger episodes of muscle swelling and inflammation followed by more rapid ossification in the injured area. Flare-ups may also be caused by viral illnesses such as the flu.

-Affected individuals may also have short thumbs and other skeletal abnormalities.

Inheritance

-Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder.

-Most cases of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva result from new mutations in the gene. These cases occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family. In only a small number of cases, an affected person has inherited the mutation from one affected parent.

How this disease is diagnosed:

-Making a diagnosis for a genetic or rare disease can often be challenging. Healthcare professionals typically look at a person’s medical history, symptoms, physical exam, and laboratory test results in order to make a diagnosis. The following resources provide information relating to diagnosis and testing for this condition. If you have questions about getting a diagnosis, you should contact a healthcare professional.

-The Genetic Testing Registry (GTR) provides information about the genetic tests for this condition. The intended audience for the GTR is health care providers and researchers. Patients and consumers with specific questions about a genetic test should contact a health care provider or a genetics professional.

TREATMENT:

There is currently no definitive treatment.  However, a brief course of high-dose corticosteroids, such as Prednisone, started within the first 24 hours of a flare-up, may help reduce the intense inflammation and tissue swelling seen in the early stages of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva.  Other medications, such as muscle relaxants, mast cell inhibitors, and aminobisphosphonates, if appropriate, should be closely monitored by a physician.  Surgery to remove heterotopic and extra-skeletal bone is risky and can potentially cause painful new bone growth.

References:

 

  • Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. Genetics Home Reference (GHR). August 2007; http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/fibrodysplasia-ossificans-progressiva.
  • FOP Fact Sheet. International Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva Association. http://www.ifopa.org/what-is-fop/overview.html. Accessed 6/5/2014.
  • Pignolo R, Kaplan F. Pediatric Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva. E-medicine. July 30, 2009; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1007104-overview. Accessed 3/17/2011

 

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“This syndrome can affect multiple senses, including vision, touch, and hearing. You may also lose a sense of time. Time may seem to pass faster or slower than you think.  Alice in Wonderland Syndrome primarily affects children and young adults. Most people grow out the disordered perceptions as they age, but it’s still possible to experience this in adulthood.”

Healthline  (healthline.com)

Part II Alice in Wonderland

Genetic and environmental influences

While there currently is no identified genetic locus/loci associated with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, observations suggest that a genetic component does exist. AiWS does appear to be passed on from parent to child, with one case study showcasing a grandmother, mother, son, and daughter all with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. In addition, there is an established hereditary trait of migraines. Examples of environmental influences on the incidence of AiWS include the use of the drug topiramate and potentially the dietary intake of tyramine. Further research is required to establish the genetic and environmental influences on Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome was named after Lewis Carroll’s famous 19th-century novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In the story, Alice, the title character, experiences numerous situations similar to those of micropsia and macropsia. The thorough descriptions of metamorphosis clearly described in the novel were the first of their kind to depict the bodily distortions associated with the condition. Speculation has arisen that Carroll may have written the story using his own direct experience with episodes of micropsia resulting from the numerous migraines he was known to suffer from. It has also been suggested that Carroll may have suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy.

Gulliver’s Travels

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome’s symptom of micropsia has also been related to Jonathan Swift’s novel Gulliver’s Travels. It has been referred to as “Lilliput sight” and “Lilliputian hallucination”, a term coined by British physician Raoul Leroy in 1909, based on the small people that inhabited the island of Lilliput in the novel.

Etiology

Complete and partial forms of the Alice in Wonderland syndrome exist in a range of disorders, including epilepsy, intoxicants, infectious states, fevers, and brain lesions. Furthermore, the syndrome is commonly associated with migraines, as well as the use of psychoactive drugs. It can also be the initial symptom of the Epstein–Barr virus (see mononucleosis), and a relationship between the syndrome and mononucleosis has been suggested. Epstein-Barr Virus appears to be the most common cause in children, while for adults it is more commonly associated with migraines.

Cerebral hypotheses

AiWS can be caused by abnormal amounts of electrical activity causing abnormal blood flow in the parts of the brain that process visual perception and texture. Nuclear medical techniques using technetium, performed on patients during episodes of Alice in Wonderland syndrome, have demonstrated that AiWS is associated with reduced cerebral perfusion in various cortical regions (frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital), both in combination and in isolation. It has been hypothesized that any condition resulting in a decrease in perfusion of the visual pathways or visual control centers of the brain may be responsible for the syndrome. For example, one study used single photon emission computed tomography to demonstrate reduced cerebral perfusion in the temporal lobe in patients with AiWS. Other theories exist that suggest the syndrome is a result of unspecific cortical dysfunction (e.g. from encephalitis, epilepsy, decreased cerebral perfusion), or reduced blood flow to other areas of the brain.  Other theories suggest that disordered body image perceptions stem from within the parietal lobe. This has been demonstrated by the production of disturbances of body image through electrical stimulation of the posterior parietal cortex. Other researchers suggest that metamorphopsias may be a result of reduced perfusion of the non-dominant posterior parietal lobe during migraine episodes.

Throughout all the neuroimaging studies, several cortical regions (including the temporoparietal junction within the parietal lobe, and the visual pathway, specifically the occipital lobe) are associated with the development of Alice in Wonderland syndrome symptoms.

Migraines

The role of migraines in Alice in Wonderland syndrome is still not understood, but both vascular and electrical theories have been suggested. For example, visual distortions may be a result of transient, localized ischaemia (an inadequate blood supply to an organ or part of the body) in areas of the visual pathway during migraine attacks. In addition, a spreading wave of depolarization of cells (particularly glial cells) in the cerebral cortex during migraine attacks can eventually activate the trigeminal nerve’s regulation of the vascular system. The intense cranial pain during migraines is due to the connection of the trigeminal nerve with the thalamus and thalamic projections onto the sensory cortex. Alice in Wonderland syndrome symptoms can precede, accompany, or replace the typical migraine symptoms.

Diagnosis

Alice in Wonderland syndrome is a disturbance of perception rather than a specific physiological change to the body’s systems. The diagnosis can be presumed when other causes have been ruled out and if the patient presents symptoms along with migraines and complains of onset during the day (although it can also occur at night). As there are no established diagnostic criteria for Alice in Wonderland syndrome, there is likely to be a large degree of variability in the diagnostic process and thus it is likely to be poorly diagnosed.

Prognosis

Whatever the cause, the bodily related distortions can recur several times a day and may take some time to abate. Understandably, the person can become alarmed, frightened, and panic-stricken throughout the course of the hallucinations—maybe even hurt themselves or others around them. The symptoms of the syndrome themselves are not harmful and are likely to disappear with time. The outcome is typically not harmful, especially in children, and most patients outgrow these episodes. The long-term prognosis typically depends on the root cause of the syndrome, and it is the underlying condition which must be evaluated and treated. Often, the difficulty lies within the patient’s reluctance to describe their symptoms out of fear of being labeled with a psychiatric disorder.

Treatment

At present, Alice in Wonderland syndrome has no standardized treatment plan. Often, treatment methods revolve around migraine prophylaxis, as well as the promotion of a low tyramine diet. Drugs that may be used to prevent migraines include: anticonvulsants, antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, and beta blockers. Other treatments that have been explored include repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). Further research is required to establish an effective treatment regime.

Epidemiology

The lack of established diagnostic criteria or large-scale epidemiological studies on Alice in Wonderland syndrome means that the exact prevalence of the syndrome is currently unknown. One study on 3,224 adolescents in Japan demonstrated the occurrence of macropsia and micropsia to be 6.5% in boys and 7.3% in girls, suggesting that the symptoms of AiWS may not be so rare.

It appears that the male/female ratio is dependent on the age range being observed. Studies showed that younger males (age range of 5 to 14 years) were 2.69 times more likely to experience AiWS than girls of the same age, while there were no significant differences between students of 13 to 15 years of age. Conversely, female students (16- to 18-year-olds) showed a significantly greater prevalence.

The average age of the start of Alice in Wonderland syndrome is six but it is very normal for some to experience the syndrome from childhood to their late 20’s. It is also thought that this syndrome is hereditary because many parents who have AiWS report their children having it as well.